The low down

A cabin crew is a member of staff on the plane responsible for the comfort and wellbeing of the passengers. The cabin crew will direct the passengers to their seats at the start of the flight, giving help to anyone who needs it, providing food and water on long haul flights or selling it on short haul or budget flights.

Is this role right for me?

Excellent communication skills are necessary to becoming a cabin crew member. You will be working with a large number of paying customers and so you will constantly be in contact with them, making sure there are no problems and that the passengers enjoy their flight. In some cases, when you may encounter serious problems, it’s important that you have the ability to stay calm under pressure, as you will usually be in direct firing line of the passengers. It’s also essential that you remain polite but also be firm. Air cabin crew work in teams to get through a flight smoothly, making sure everything is done correctly, so being able to work in a team or being a team leader is key.

To do this role you will need…

Most airlines won’t allow you to work for them until you are 18 years old and in some cases, 21 years old. You will also be required to have 5 GCSEs at A*-C grade including Maths and English. There is also an element of fitness required, so you will have to have a good level of physical fitness. As the face of the company, it is key that you have a smart appearance. Restrictions on tattoos and piercings will also apply. You will also need to have a valid passport which allows you to travel without any restrictions.

Once you have found an airline you want to work for, there is a long process involved with training and becoming a fully trained air cabin crew member. Most airline training course will cover the same thing including:

– Safety equipment and procedures on the plane

– Basic first aid

– Security procedures and regulations

– Customer service

– Cabins safety and uniform standards

What does a cabin crew member do?

For this role, there are three main stages to the job:

– Before the flight

– During the flight

– After the flight

There are a number of duties that you will be required to do during these three different stages.

Before the flight you will get a flight brief, which looks at the flight, the schedule and any special requirements for that specific flight. You will have to check that the flight is fully stocked with provisions as well as checking that all safety and emergency equipment is operational. When the gates open you will be responsible for greeting passengers and running through the safety procedures.

During the flight, the passengers are your responsibility, so you will have to make sure they are comfortable and happy. You will also be serving food and drinks, and selling duty-free items.  If needed, you will have to make announcements to the passengers and in an emergency, run through the safety procedures and make sure that everyone is safe.

Once the flight has landed, you will have to make sure passengers have left the plane safely and direct them to passport control. Once the aircraft is empty, you will write a report of the flight detailing any incidents that may have occurred, and finally cashing up and detailing the food, drink and duty-free sales.

How to get your foot in the door

To begin with, you will need to make sure you are up to the standard that airlines expect, making sure you are presentable and physically fit. It would also help if you understand what air cabin crew do as their job and do your research on the airline you are hoping to work for.